Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival executive director to retire

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival executive director announces retirement

Steven Ovitsky

Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival executive director Steven Ovitsky will retire from his long-held position in September 2023, following the conclusion of the festival’s 50th anniversary season.

The festival’s board of trustees has formed a search committee, hiring the Washington, D.C.—based Catherine French Group to aid in its search for his replacement.

Ovitsky joined the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival in 2004. His accomplishments include overseeing two endowment campaigns – making the festival’s endowment one of the strongest in the country for an organization of the festival’s size – and the expansion of the festival’s music education and community outreach programs; initiating the creation of the festival’s annual Young Composers String Quartet Project; and leading the organization through the coronavirus pandemic. He will also oversee the wide range of activities planned in celebration of the festival’s milestone season next summer.

“With 2023 being the festival’s 50th anniversary season and my 20th season, and having recently celebrated my 75th birthday, this seemed like the perfect time to announce my retirement,” Ovitsky said.

Marc Neikrug, who’s served as the festival’s artistic director since 1998, said: “In 20 years of partnership, I don’t recall a single disagreement with Steve. His background as a musician infused his every decision as an administrator. He’s been a steadfast supporter of our art form and, through his deep understanding of its fundamental societal values, has made it possible for our organization to thrive.”

Longtime board president Michael Everett said: “Steve’s leadership has brought the festival international acclaim. He expanded the festival’s community initiatives, and his legacy includes building a financially stable organization that prospered even during recent global disruptions.”

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